With the Waratah Cup final taking place over the weekend, the Grade 20s teams were given a week off before round seventeen, which takes place over the weekend with one match on Saturday, and five on Sunday.
This week’s match of the round sees sixth-placed Manly United travel to Belmore Sports Ground to take on Sydney Olympic, who sit just three points ahead of their opponents on Sunday in fourth.
Match of the Round
Sydney Olympic FC v Manly United FC, Sunday 1pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic will look to extend their winning streak to four straight games, and strengthen their grip on fourth place, when sixth-placed Manly United make the trip across Sydney to Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon. Olympic remain unbeaten since their 5-0 loss to Sydney United in late May, while Manly have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, losing their last three games in a row after previously enjoying a run of six matches without defeat. Manly’s Lachlan McLean scored twice in his side’s 3-2 loss to Olympic at Cromer Park earlier in the season, with Jack Green, Oliver Green, and Evan Patramanis scoring the goals for the visitors.
Sutherland Sharks FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, 5.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland Sharks would hold their place at the top of the Grade 20s competition with a victory over the visiting APIA Leichhardt Tigers in the only Saturday afternoon match of round 17, though anything less would leave them open to being caught by Marconi Stallions, who sit just one point behind in second. The Sharks’ latest win came at Bonnyrigg Sports Club two weeks ago, where Charles Lokolingoy scored a hattrick in his side’s 6-1 defeat of Bonnyrigg White Eagles. APIA won this fixture by a solitary goal at Lambert Park in April, though they travel to Seymour Shaw hoping to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat after their 1-0 loss to Blacktown City in the previous round.
Sydney United 58 FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, 11.30am at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 can keep up the pressure on fourth-placed Sydney Olympic with a win against last-placed Bonnyrigg White Eagles in the early match on Sunday afternoon. The home side should be confident of beating Bonnyrigg, whose last competition point came in the last week of May, though the visitors will harbour some hope of an upset, having lost by the odd goal in seven when these teams played earlier in the year. Bonnyrigg arrive at Sydney United Sports Centre on the back of their fourth straight loss, while United 58 will look to bounce back from their surprising 4-1 defeat to Parramatta FC in round 16.
Blacktown Spartans FC v Marconi Stallions FC, 1pm at Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans welcome Marconi Stallions to Blacktown Football Park on Sunday afternoon, with the visitors still just one point behind competition leaders Sutherland Sharks, with an extra game in hand on the side in first place. The Stallions would hold that advantage for at least another week should they take all three points against the Spartans, who have found consistent form difficult to come by all season. Only once this year has the home team strung two results together in consecutive weeks, and the Spartans head into their round 17 match in ninth place as a result, a full 19 points behind Marconi. The Spartans latest defeat came 5-0 at the hands of a rampant South Coast Wolves side, while Marconi recorded a routine 2-1 over Rockdale City Suns in their previous fixture.
Blacktown City FC v Rockdale City Suns FC, 1pm at Lilys Football Centre
Blacktown City FC extended their winning streak to four straight matches with a 1-0 defeat of APIA Leichhardt Tigers two weeks ago, and will be optimistic of pushing that run out to five when they face Rockdale City Suns at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon. Rockdale sit just five points ahead of last-placed Bonnyrigg coming into this match, their most recent result a 2-1 loss at home to Sydney Olympic. This fixture ended 2-2 at Ilinden Sports Centre in mid-April, though anything but a Blacktown City win this weekend would, on current form, seem unlikely.
South Coast Wolves FC v Parramatta FC, 1pm at Win Stadium
After a run of six consecutive defeats, South Coast Wolves stopped the rot with a 5-0 defeat of Blacktown Spartans at Win Stadium last weekend, while their opponents this Sunday, Parramatta FC, stunned Sydney Olympic with a 4-1 win; goals coming from Patrick Awad, Luke Grima, David Chung and Andreas Vais. This will be the Wolves’ fourth home match in a row, though this does not necessarily constitute a marked advantage – the Wolves have only won two of their seven home matches in 2015. Parramatta FC sit just one point behind the Wolves in eighth place ahead of their meeting on Sunday afternoon.
– By Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter